Adoption journey

Over the past year, the Lord has been growing, teaching, and challenging our family in so many ways! We are responding to the Lord's leading and are expanding our family through the adoption of a precious baby!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Little hands painting!!

Evan and Ben have always enjoyed painting... the littlest one is no different! Samuel experienced painting for the first time today and had a blast!!
So excited to paint like big brothers!!
This is so much FUN!

He really knew what he was doing!!
Even used a paint brush!

Can you tell he's having FUN?!

Should I paint myself too?
Painting on paper is fun too!

Really focused on his masterpiece.

Painting belly & paper:)

All of my boys have to paint a goatee like Daddy;)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Springtime beauty and a growing garden

Our family of boys really enjoys getting outdoors; we are blessed to have a beautiful place to play, rest and enjoy each other right here at home! We are very thankful for the beautiful and relaxing setting just outside our back door. The previous owners built a pergola, a swing, and planted numerous beautiful flowers, trees, and a "bamboo forest".

 Our boys love to explore and play in our yard and bamboo forest! Spring is a wonderful time to be outside watching everything grow and bloom. We have decided to grow a few more things in our backyard... a vegetable garden!! We are going full force this year with 4 garden boxes and MANY different types of fruits & veggies! We're hoping for a good crop this year to feed our growing family!

We planted some cooler weather crops a couple months ago, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, radishes, beets, spinach, lettuce, and sugar snap peas. While we were not typically a radish eating family, all of us really enjoyed the fresh radishes from our garden! Our salad box with spinach and lettuce has been a big producer--we've enjoyed salad from the garden almost every day! However, the biggest hit in the garden has been the sugar snap peas!! The boys love picking them and eating them right off the plant! I envisioned sugar snap peas in salads and stir fry from the abundance our plants have been producing, but the boys are consuming them so quickly the peas have yet to make it back to our kitchen! 

The unusually cold weather this spring delayed the planting of our summer crops.  We were finally able to get our tomatoes, pepper, beans, and okra in the ground 2 weeks ago.
Our family is really ready for garden fresh tomatoes!!
This peaceful setting is just around the corner from our home, and a favorite stop on our neighborhood walks.
We are thankful for the beauty around us this spring! 
Would love to hear about your family's favorite activities and places in the springtime!

Monday, May 13, 2013

My favorite kitchen appliance

As many of you probably know, I love to cook! Out of all of my kitchen gadgets and appliances, I would have to say my bread machine ranks among my favorites! I enjoy making homemade breads and goodies for my boys. My Sunbeam bread machine helps me bake all of these goodies, while saving bundles of time! Several of my favorite recipes for my bread machine are pizza dough, french bread, Italian bread dough, our best sandwich bread, hamburger buns, and yummy cinnamon rolls. Truth: I only use the machine for the dough cycle. I like to bake my bread in the oven and don't like the rectangle shape of the bread from the machine.
best sandwich bread
Our bread machine has also helped with meal planning on a budget. I can whip up a meal based on one of these recipes. Throw some marinara sauce, cheese, possibly a few other toppings, and my boys are happy for pizza night! A loaf of french bread can be a great addition to soup night, or can be the start of a sub sandwich meal.
hamburger buns - I will never eat store bought buns again!
One of our new dinner favorites is making Stromboli with my best sandwich bread recipe. I make the dough, roll the dough out into rectangle, line with ham (or favorite deli meat) and cheese, roll up and place in greased loaf pan. Bake 30 minutes at 350 and you have dinner!

If we manage to still have some of the bread left a few days after baking, I throw together one of my family's favorites... French Toast! My Granny would make french toast for my sister and I when we spent the night at her house as kids... loved her french toast and think of her when I make my own. I dip the bread in a mixture of eggs, almond milk, and a dash of cinnamon. Cook in cast iron skillet with hot coconut oil and serve hot with powdered sugar or syrup---yummy!!!
Check out my Pinterest board for more bread recipes!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Getting messy in a dinosaur swamp!

Want to give little boys an activity full of creative, sensory, messy, imaginative fun?
 Have fun creating this dinosaur swamp for your little guys (or girls). 

You can use items from your kitchen, house and yard. This week I used green spaghetti (spaghetti cooking in water with food coloring), several types of beans/rocks (pinto, lima, lentils, split peas), rice, large rocks, mint leaves, and toy dinosaurs. Sometimes I add a little of the green pasta water to make it extra messy fun!

 Enjoy watching your little guys play and explore... or go work on those 7 loads of laundry;)

Looking for other ideas for creative indoor play? Check out these other blogs:
Indoor Activities for my stir crazy boys
Cooking like Mommy: Pretend cooking with real ingredients